Although I seldom have time to watch PBS's "Secrets of the Dead" -- a very Syfy-channel-sounding title -- I managed to preview a couple of upcoming hours, both worthwhile.
"Lost in the Amazon," premiering April 20, revisits the mystery surrounding Colonel Percy Fawcett, an explorer whose 1925 expedition to find a rumored city hidden in the Brazilian jungle resulted in his disappearance and that of two companions. Niall McCann, another one of those lunatics who likes doing such things, seeks to replicate Fawcett's trek and discover what might have happened to him.
Producer-writer-director Peter von Puttkamer has a taste for such fare (his credits include "The Real Lost World"), and for those with a fascination in real-life Indiana Jones types, this is for you.
On May 4, meanwhile, "Secrets" will present "China's Terracotta Warriors," looking into the army of 8,000 life-sized clay figures discovered near the city of Xian in 1974.
The hour does a meticulous job piecing together the motivation behind these statues -- meant to accompany the emperor into the after-life -- and how they were made, even using CGI to depict what they looked like when they were painted and armored in their full glory.
Fortunately, there are teams of scientists with too much time on their hands, willing to use space-age technology to ascertain such things. One thing's for certain: You learn more watching this than you did watching the army come to life in that third "The Mummy" movie.
Read more: http://weblogs.variety.com/bltv/2011/04/pbs-secrets-of-the-dead-treks-to...
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